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by Shane Stokes
December 10, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
The announcement one week ago by the Vuelta a España organisers Unipublic that there were zero anti-doping positives in this year’s race led to some wondering why there was silence from the UCI and Tour de France organisers ASO in relation to the 2016 Tour.
The French race takes place weeks before the Spanish event and so information about a lack of positives about the later Grand Tour inevitably led to questions about why similar clarification hadn’t been released about the Tour.
While the UCI has chosen not to communicate officially on the matter, Tour organiser ASO commented Friday in relation to testing at the race.
“I can confirm that there were no positives this year,” an ASO spokesperson told CyclingTips, responding to questions on that subject.
It is unclear whether retrospective testing may be carried out at a future date. This is permitted under WADA rules and enables more advanced detection methods to be used.
In October of last year the UCI’s Cycling Anti Doping Foundation said that samples from the first five riders in the general classification of the Tour would have their doping control samples retained for ten years in order to facilitate possible retesting.
Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador were the riders in question.
Retests were carried out this year on samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, using more modern procedures than were available at the time of those events.